Safety Line, which helps airlines save fuel by using historical flight data to deliver optimal, aircraft-specific climb profiles before departure, is developing a real-time service for entire flights, company executives told AIN.
"We know that our offer must be expanded. We’re already working to provide recommendations during the flight for the cruise and descent,” president and ceo Pierre Jouniaux said on the eve of the Paris Air Show. "I foresee the possibility to give more accurate information to the pilots so that they can make better decisions during flights.”
OptiClimb, the company’s core product, uses raw quick-access recorder (QAR) data to analyze aircraft and engine performance at the tail-number level, modeling optimal climb profiles. Once the fleet is analyzed, the system combines aircraft-specific data with flight-plan variables, such as weather, to produce an optimal climb profile for each flight. Target speeds and altitudes are delivered to the pilot either digitally via an electronic flight bag or on paper. The flight crew enters two sets of post-departure climb phase altitudes and speeds into the flight management system, replacing manufacturer-recommended defaults.
The results: 5- to 10 percent reduction in fuel burn during climb, and lower total emissions.
“What we’re trying to do is bring the aircraft to the same point at the same time, but making the optimal use of the thrust,” explained Safety Line chief commercial officer Francois Chazelle. "The trajectory change doesn’t take more time. It’s just a better use of the existing thrust.”
A customer’s models are updated quarterly to account for changes in aircraft performance, such as degraded efficiency as an aircraft accumulates cycles.
A real-time version would use the same QAR data-analysis process, but expand the modeling to include all flight phases.
Safety Line’s development aspirations received a major boost thanks to a €3 million ($3.6 million) investment from Safran, Groupe ADP, and Bpifinance announced June 6. Safran includes OptiClimb as an option in its SFCO2 fuel-optimization monitoring service, and the new investment is expected to enhance the companies’ collaboration.
“Safran will not invest in a company where it will not have a strategic business interest,” Jouniaux said.
OptiClimb has one announced customer: Transavia. Chazelle confirmed that 16 other carriers are testing the product on Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier aircraft, and several are close to making purchase decisions.
“We show them how much they can save on their network, and then we make a business case,” he said.